Skin allergies are, unfortunately, some of the allergies that are uncomfortable to cope with, as the rashes that lots of people develop can be not only unattractive but itchy and painful as well. In this article, we will explore almost all you need to know about skin allergies.

Types of skin allergies

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, including eczema, is the most common skin allergy, especially in children. It affects one in five infants, but only one in fifty adults. Most often, inflamed patches appear on the skin which becomes dry and more prone to irritation and inflammation due to many environmental factors. Some people with eczema may also have a food allergy, which can make eczema symptoms worse.

In about half of patients with severe Atopic Dermatitis, the disease is due to a genetic factor: the presence of a defective gene in their skin. Unlike urticaria, the itch of eczema is not caused solely by histamine. It is often associated with asthma, allergic rhinitis, or a food allergy. So antihistamines may not relieve symptoms.

Allergic contact dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs as a result of skin contact with an allergen. After such contact, patches of skin appear red and itchy immediately after exposure to the allergen. For example, if you have a nickel allergy and your skin comes into contact with jewelry made with even a tiny amount of nickel, your skin may turn red, scaly, itchy, or swollen.

Airborne contact dermatitis

A person may also have an allergic reaction to something in the air that settles on their skin, such as pollen, fibers, or cigarette smoke. This is called airborne contact dermatitis and occurs most often on the eyelids, head, and neck.


Urticaria is a skin inflammation that occurs when the immune system causes the release of histamine, causing small blood vessels to leak, which in turn leads to swelling of the skin. Swelling in the deeper layers of the skin is called angioedema. Some welts may appear on the surface of the skin. Usually, they are red and itchy and have different sizes.

There are two types of urticaria: acute urticaria and chronic urticaria. Acute urticaria sometimes occurs after eating a certain food or getting in contact with a specific trigger. It can also be caused by other factors such as heat, exercise, medications, foods, insect bites, or infection.

Chronic urticaria, on the other hand, is caused by specific triggers. So allergy tests are not helpful in this case. Chronic urticaria can last for months or even years.


Angioedema occurs in the deeper layers of the skin. It is remarkable that urticaria usually occurs in soft tissues such as the eyelids, mouth, or genitals. Angioedema is called “acute” if it lasts only for a short time, from minutes to hours. Acute angioedema usually results from an allergic reaction to drugs or foods, while chronic recurrent angioedema lasts for a long period of time, and usually has no identifiable cause.

Hereditary angioedema

Hereditary angioedema is a rare but serious genetic condition. It involves swelling of many different parts of the body including the hands, feet, face, and airways. Usually, this condition does not respond to treatment with antihistamines or adrenaline. So it is important to see a specialist.

Causes of skin allergies

Skin allergies can occur for the following reasons:

  • Bees and other insects sting.
laundry detergents can
cause skin allergies
  • Allergy to drugs such as penicillin, aspirin, radioactive media, and blood components.
  • Food allergy, such as a fish or tree nut allergy.
  • Certain physical factors, such as pressure, vibration, or extreme cold.
  • Infection from another person.
  • Genetic cause of C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency.
  • Immunological reason.
  • Perfumes, cosmetics, and gasoline.
  • Formaldehyde, which exists in paper products, paints, medicines, and household cleaners.
  • The formation of a rash on some parts of the body such as the hands and feet.
  • Some types of topical antibiotics and some ointments.
  • Some metals cause skin sensitivity, such as nickel, which exists in jewelry, clothing buttons, and gold.

Skin allergy symptoms

  • The appearance of red layers and pimples or irritations in all parts of the body. In most cases, it takes circular shapes that spread widely on the body.

Symptoms associated with skin allergies are:

  • Skin irritation or rash.
  • Swelling of some places in the body such as the face and neck.
  • Severe itching of the skin. This results in pain in the affected area, and increases in the late periods of the night.
  • The appearance of chronic redness in some areas of the body that may take a circular shape.

Managing skin allergy symptoms

How to seek relief from skin allergies can be one of the most frequent questions those who suffer from these types of allergies often ask.

There are several steps that one can take in this process. Determining what causes such an allergic reaction can be one of those steps.  For instance, if you get a rash immediately after contacting a metal, in this case, you suffer from a skin allergy.

If you do not already know what allergy impacts your skin, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor. It is noticeable that a lot of people do not know what exactly causes their allergic reaction, and they get surprised when they discover the true factors.

Other people may get more surprised when they learn that the factors that trigger their allergic reactions are so numerous and exist in certain foods and chemicals which we find in household products such as laundry detergents.

One of the reasons why you should see a doctor is that he can help you determine what you are allergic to. Of course, you can try your own experiments at home. But you have to proceed with caution. This is important if you notice that your allergic symptoms become more severe and you may think that the cause of your skin rash is food. This is why you should not perform your own allergy tests at home, or do them with the companionship of another person.

Treating skin allergies

When you determine the causes of your skin’s allergic reaction, you can start seeking relief in either traditional medications or natural remedies.

Using medication to treat skin allergies

We should note that one of the best ways to avoid skin allergies is to stay away from the cause that triggers the occurrence of allergies. But sometimes, since it is difficult to stay away from the causes of allergies, you can use some drugs to relieve and treat the symptoms of skin allergies. Medicines available to treat different types of skin allergies are:

A boy treating the
breathing problem
  • Antihistamines, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. The doctor’s prescription of a particular drug depends on the severity of the allergy.
  • Diphenhydramine.
  • Cetirizine.
  • Loratadine.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Cromolyn sodium.
  • Leukotriene modifiers, such as montelukast. They are prescribed only if other medications are not appropriate because they increase the risk of changes in mood and behavior such as suicide.
  • Immunotherapy. Many patients may prefer to try immunotherapy (multiple injections taken in a course of treatment over a period of years to boost the immune system and help the body adapt to the allergen) to treat allergies. This kind of treatment is sometimes successful, as immunotherapy can prevent the re-occurrence of allergy symptoms.
  • Epinephrine. Here the doctor may prescribe this medicine if the allergy is severe and threatens the patient’s life. Doctors give patients epinephrine to prevent anaphylactic shock until he receives appropriate treatment and medical care.

Using natural remedies to treat skin allergies

There are many kinds of natural therapies which you can use to treat skin allergies. For example, you can try some creams that can remove hives and itching. You can mix oatmeal with one cup of boiling water. If cooled and strained, they can provide relief to those who develop hives by dabbing the water that you have extracted from the oatmeal on the skin.


Using traditional medications or alternative medicine to treat skin allergies is very often effective. But the best way to cope with them and decrease your skin reactions is by decreasing the trigger factors. You can, for example, decide not to touch a pet without having gloves on. But if you want to get better results, it is recommended to keep your pets out of your bedroom and invest in air purifiers.

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